Calling it a “historic hand shake,” employees of adidas and PUMA will shake hands for the first time in six decades in support of the peace initiative “PEACE ONE DAY.” As a sign of amicable cooperation, employees of both companies will play football together on Peace Day, September 21, and subsequently watch the movie “The Day after Peace” by Jeremy Gilley, director and founder of PEACE ONE DAY.
These events. according to a joint statement from both companies, will be the first joint activities of both companies since their founders Rudolf and Adi Dassler left their shared firm and established adidas and PUMA.
The joint initiative aims at raising awareness for PEACE ONE DAY and the necessity of peaceful cohabitation. adidas and PUMA will also take the message and idea of PEACE ONE DAY into the football stadiums in Munich and Stuttgart through surprise highlights during the halftimes of the German premier league games FC Bayern Munich – 1. FC Nuremberg and VfB Stuttgart – 1. FC Keln on September 19.
“We at adidas are very proud to support PEACE ONE DAY together with PUMA. We firmly believe that sport can bring the world together. Sport has shown this at countless occasions in the past and we are committed to the positive values found in sport: performance and passion, teamwork and fair play,” said Herbert Hainer, CEO of adidas AG. “I am looking very much forward to our adidas and PUMA football match and I hope that our joint initiative helps to raise further awareness for PEACE ONE DAY around the world.”
Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO of PUMA, said: “We are uniting on this day as a commitment to PEACE DAY. Our common goal being that our collaboration today will help create awareness for the day. Kofi Anan once said that 'individuals can make a difference and collectively we can make a major contribution'. I believe that is the case also for companies. And our unity, in support of PEACE DAY, is a small step in a positive direction as well as an expression of the united power of sport in a world which we are all responsible for.”
The companies adidas and PUMA were founded by the brothers Rudolf and Adi Dassler in the 1940s. Until they separated and went their own ways, they both owned a factory called “Gebrueder Dassler Sportschuhfabrik” where they together manufactured sports shoes – quite successfully as the world records of Jesse Owens proved. In the last decades, adidas and PUMA became worldwide leading brands. Both companies are still based in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
Jeremy Gilley started PEACE ONE DAY (POD) as a movie project in order to establish an annual day of ceasefire and non-violence. In 2001 PEACE ONE DAY achieved its primary objective; having the UN general assembly adopt a resolution by all UN member states to formally establish an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence. This International Day of Peace is September 21st. PUMA has been a partner of PEACE ONE DAY since 2007.